A Better Body Clip

(Photo Gallery) To improve on my previous body-clipping job, I did not have to change very much: be patient with your horse, use new or recently sharpened blades, use good clipper oil, keep your clipper blades cool, work on a clean, dry horse, allow enough time but move quickly. That is pretty much all you need to do to get a decent clip. Add a little more care and some practice and your second clipping job will usually look better than your first.

Since I am clipping a horse with Cushings disease, I had to pay extra attention to anything that would irritate his skin or stress him out. This meant I had to make each pass of the blades count and not go over the same spot again and again. Too many passes in the same spot can burn any horse, but with sensitive skin it happens very easily. I also bathed him the day after clipping, to remove any residual clipper oil and soothe his skin. This has the added benefit of releasing any hairs that were pushed down by the heat of the blades, so I can distinguish between pressure marks and real track marks. Keeping the skin happy and healthy will keep the hair healthier too, reducing the dry, sun-burned look some horses get after being body-clipped.

This horse looks much better after a few years on Prascend, but his coat is still too long for regular work in the summer. He just can’t cool himself off with all that hair. He was diagnosed with Cushings at 18 and is more robust at 21 than he was before diagnosis. He has even gone back to work! So you can keep using your Cushings-afflicted mount, especially if you have him on medication, but you need to allow for an immune system that is always going to be a little weaker than in a healthy horse. You have to pay more attention to little things like skin sensitivity than you would otherwise.

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